Die besten Urlaub auf der Welt

I’m back! Furthermore I’m mostly ready for September and everything that the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ has in store.
Our BIG family adventure of taking ‘Charlie van Bus’ to mainland Europe was a blast and we had the (cue *Jeremy Clarkson voice* ) besten Urlaub …… auf der Welt.
Admittedly things didn’t get off to a flying start when we were parked up at the entrance to Dover docks at 5am with water and steam (in Biblical proportions) spewing forth from the radiator. But then again being broken down is not as bad when you can sit in the back and brew up, which we did. Two cans of Radweld* and vast amounts of water later though Charlie was patched up enough to board the Ferry.
We made it to Paris** (smells a bit, very expensive but the tower thing was impressive) and on to Germany where I managed to negotiate a replacement radiator (a Kuhler).
van driving trim.jpg
Our travels and visitations in Germany were wonderful, with much family fun, adventure and humour. My German served us pretty well until we were down in the mountains where we encountered a man who spoke a deep Bayerish dialect and it was akin to being barked at by a Teutonic bloodhound-esque Geoffrey Palmer, I was reduced to nodding.
We called in to Oberamagau as a sort of faith pilgrimage, but not having tickets to the actual play we encountered only a lovely German town largely spoilt by nature of being a myriad of tacky tourist fly traps selling quasi religious plastic and hastily carved artefacts.
Everywhere else though was great and we caught up with friends, visited really cool places and generally had the best time. Highlights included:
> Being atop the Zugspitze (highest mountain in Germany) and taking in a little sledging.
> Enjoying a day at one of the lakes (the German equivalent of the beach) and being able to hire my exact same model of Kayak, yay
> Spending time at the Wellarium, a massive outdoor swimming pool complex, even having it virtually to ourselves once (I think the rain and thunderstorm had dissuaded others).
van trim scene 300.jpg
On the way back we decided to avoid France as much as possible and headed up through North West Germany staying in the last possible German city, Aachen, before ‘doing’ Belguim and emerging into France at the last possible moment to find Dunkirque … in order to be evacuated by Norfolk Lines Ferries.
All told about 2500 miles of adventure and encounter.
A thousand wonderful shared family memories and prolonged resulting humour.
Die besten Urlaub …… auf der Welt!
heppenheim scene pic.jpg
*other emergency radiator sealants are available
** Ah yes, the question of how did all my French learning pay off? Well …. better than it was but SO far to go, but at least not the stereo-typical ‘shout in English’ Brit abroad.

Wheelbarrows and trolleys

GB forecast.jpg The pre-eminent immensity that is Greenbelt, is imminent!
Tomorrow sees the start of the 2010 festival, “the art of looking sideways
The forecast for Cheltenham is fantastic for the four days of the festival! However the rain we’ve absorbed this week is due to continue right up to the wee hours of tomorrow morning … after which dawn should break to reveal sunshine and happy days for the festival. This though will not allow sufficient time for the ground to dry and vehicles may not be allowed onto the camp-site in order to prevent quagmirification (made up word).
If you are going, I’d REALLY recommend finding a trolley or a wheelbarrow and lots of bungees and straps just in case as multiple walks to the car to fetch equipment is not a great prospect, given the distances involved. (I used to use a cycle trailer).
So in summary: Possible early chaos peaking mid afternoon giving way to harmony and happiness by early evening. Tempers light to moderate, rising before expected lows at BST 21:30.
Anyway see you at the Chai Chapel, The Tiny Tea Tent or ‘The Jesus Arms’ …. oh or at Charlie bus in the disabled camping area if we can get on site.
Happy days!

Brands, bandz and trends

Ok, I’m not officially blogging yet so consider this a a post-ette or a blog-lite ahead of the formal return to business next week. The reason I have emerged early from hibernation is a rubber band! Not one that my colleague has flicked at me to get me to turn the German radio station down but news of a whole new trend that’s coming your way.
Ladies and gentlemen I present …. *drum roll* bandz!
Silly rubberband.jpg
The BBC cover it here but I thought I’d give you the heads up so you can *cough* rush out an be ahead of the trend.
(For those on a budget, follow the Postman (sorry, Postperson) and collect the dropped bands, wear them and claim they are a limited edition rubber band shaped ‘Silly Bandz’)
Youthblog trend prediction:
September to December 2010:
Trend curve accelerates in UK and peaks with Christmas sales
January 2011: Brief spike as kids show off their Christmas acquisitions before waning into irrelevance.
February 2011: Forgotten completely
April 2011: Major Christian events promoting them in the shape of the cross, the Bible and various worship leaders


As usual the blog is closed for maintenance (of the author) during the month of August and there will be no new writing until 1st September …. I look forward to catching up with you then OR in fact before if you are at Greenbelt.
charlie bus.jpg
We’ll be setting off in Charlie (the V-dub van) for some of the time which’ll be so cool, but I’ll also be at work catching up with reading, writing and planning. I’ll also be MUCH less active on Scrabble so my beloved nemesi, please be patient.
PS Spammers, here’s an idea! Why don’t you take a little time off too!!!!! (Thank you)